Thoughts on Recent Changes in Conversion Tracking
There’ve been a few announcements with upcoming changes in AdWords and conversion tracking recently.
- AdWords will soon count cross-device conversions automatically. | Link
- AdWords will soon include new cross-device attribution reports and benchmarks. | Link
- AdWords will soon steer away from "Converted Clicks". | Link
Everyone has an opinion. A few agencies found my view insightful, so I thought it’d be helpful to share it here with you guys.
Note: These are my personal thoughts and do not reflect Google’s or any other person’s. Please understand that.
I want to specifically tackle the 3 gripes I’ve heard and provide a specialist perspective for a more holistic view.
- “Cross-device conversions should not be included in Conversions. It dilutes the information.”
The world is becoming more and more mobile and Google has been on the forefront pushing that message. If we don’t consider Cross-device Conversions a Conversion now, when will we? Last year, mobile usage surpassed desktop usage.
Yet, 91% of small businesses are not mobile-ready*. With that large of a discrepancy, I think it further establishes Google’s message to SMBs - mobile is now and our conversions are in line with that thought. Google is now at a confidence level great enough to consider it part of Conversions and I think that’s reason enough for all of us to be excited.
- “Why are you guys moving away from Converted Clicks? They are so useful.”
Converted Clicks can certainly provide insightful information. More often than not, however, advertisers just think Converted Clicks count the total number of conversions. Let it be clear: Converted Clicks do NOT measure unique conversions. We have a setting for "one" vs "every" but many clients do not know this.
This could have negative implications. For example, when selecting a conversion bid metric for enhanced CPC and Target CPA, people would choose Converted Clicks on a whim. There are very few instances where one would prefer Converted Clicks, but many choose it after a moment’s thought, thinking the implication is minimal.
If you really like converted clicks, you can accomplish something very similar with Google Analytics, User IDs, and Goals. Even better, your reports will be more information-rich since you’re using the power of Google Analytics.
- “Why are you guys making a new report: a cross-device conversion report? We don’t need another one.”
Obviously, this is very much in line with the recent news (“AdWords will soon count cross-device conversions automatically.”). We want to provide the details, now that it’s a default. However, I think this announcement is a more broad, strategic note than it lets on, on the surface.
Advertising has traditionally been very difficult to evaluate effectiveness. Google changed the game, providing metrics regarding clicks, impressions, and conversions. Still, real life impact is hard to gauge and while we still have a long way to go, to me, providing this report shows our commitment to bridging the gap in all things contextual. After all, studies have shown ⅓ of people who click search ads also visit the store (see: Google Ads & Analytics Innovations Keynote).
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